A guest blog post this morning to make you smile. Fancy stepping in the hallowed footsteps of the floppy-haired secret-crush inducing naughtier-than-he-looks Hugh Grant? Here’s how…
Even if you don’t live in the same parish as the famous UK wedding venues mentioned in this list you could pull a few strings to try and stage your wedding at one of them. It might be a bit tricky to arrange a wedding at number five in the list though!
Luton Hoo Hotel as seen in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Photo by Calotype46 on flickr
1. Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire
This beautiful place, located just 30 miles from London, was a stately home when it featured as the hotel staging the second wedding reception in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. Do you fancy yourself as the next Hugh Grant? You do? Then this is the wedding venue for you!
In a case of life imitating art, Luton Hoo was later converted into a spa hotel. It was a wise move as the verdant grounds to be found there make it a very popular wedding reception venue. Film buffs should be especially keen to say their vows at Luton Hoo as the home was also used in the films Eyes Wide Shut, Wilde and Never Say Never Again. So if Hugh Grant doesn’t do it for you there’s a great cast list including Nicole Kidman and Sean Connery to aspire to there instead!
2. Marylebone Register Office
Marylebone Register Office has a humbler and more functional appearance than Luton Hoo but still deserves inclusion in a list of famous wedding venues. This is the place where Paul McCartney broke millions of Beatles fans’ hearts when he married American photographer Linda Eastman there in 1969.
After the death of Linda, Sir Paul married Heather Mills in a decidedly grander affair held at Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Ireland. Following the break-up of this marriage, the world’s most famous bass player married Nancy Shevell at… Marylebone Register Office, of course.
Other famous marriages here include Ringo Starr, Liam Gallagher (twice!) Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. There should be a red carpet outside!
3. Gretna Green, Scotland
Did you know that one in six Scottish weddings take place in a little village in the south of the country?
The place is Gretna Green; a spot which has also proved popular as a wedding venue for English couples thanks to a law passed in 1753. Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act really put Gretna on the map by saying that if a prospective bride or groom was under the age of 21 then parental consent was needed to make the marriage legal.
This English law did not apply to Scotland and resulted in thousands of love-struck runaway couples eloping to Gretna, one of the first villages beyond the border, to get married. The law has been done away with but Gretna – which has several wedding venues – is still seen as a wildly romantic place to say: “I do”.
As for celebrity weddings in Gretna Green… does Kerry Katona count?! Speaking of which…
4. Stormont Castle, Northern Ireland
You’ve heard of a stormy marriage but have you heard of a Stormont marriage? Stormont is the beautiful castle in Northern Ireland where the country’s assembly meets to discuss and vote on vital matters of state.
Over the years, legendary politicians like Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy have swept down Stormont’s imposing drive and you can follow in their footsteps by holding a wedding reception at the Stormont Hotel next door.
5. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is without doubt the most famous wedding venue in Great Britain, and the good news is that there is no waiting list to get married there.
However, the bad news is that you can only formalise your marriage there if you are a member of the Royal Family, an order of the Bath Members or a resident of one of the Abbey’s Precincts.
No wonder members of these exclusive categories are considered such good wedding prospects!